Washington Payroll Instructions

Payroll Links

Goldenseal Payroll Software Info

US Federal Withholding Tables

Free 2021 Payroll Tax Table Updates

Other Links

Washington has no state income tax withholding, nor payroll tax tables. However there are employee withholding and employer taxes for worker's compensation and disability insurance, with different rates for each type of work done by the employee.

HINT-- Turtle Creek Software provides free annual updates for US federal and Washington state tax withholding and insurance rates.

Washington State Withholding Instructions

To enter withholding information for a Washington employee, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Employees from the Accounts menu.
  2. Locate the employee record.
  3. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  4. Enter the employee's marital status into the Marital Status field (see note below).
  5. Enter the number of federal dependents into the Federal Exemptions field.
  6. Enter the Washington Tax Package into the Tax Package field. HINT-- If you don't see it in the list, you'll need to import the tax info first.
  7. Click OK.

Washington Industrial Insurance & Disability

The state of Washington provides disability insurance and worker's compensation coverage. The coverage rates are based on the type of work done by your employees. To calculate the amount to pay, you'll need to fill in the current Industrial Insurance rates for the types of work you do. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Category Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Category Systems from the submenu.
  2. Double-click on a Category System.
  3. The Comp Rate for each category handles the Industrial Insurance rate, and the Tax Rate handles disabiility insurance costs. Enter the rates you pay for each type of work. If you use subcategories for job costing, you'll also need to enter the rates for each subcategory.
  4. Turn off the Comp Rate as Percent and Tax Rate as Percent checkboxes, since Washington uses a fixed hourly dollar amount for insurance and disability rates.
  5. When you are finished setting up rates in a Category System, click OK to save changes.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for each Category System that you use.

When you enter Labor Hours records, enter the work category into the Category field. When you write payroll, Goldenseal will automatically use the correct rate for each type of work.

Washington State Unemployment Tax Instructions

In 2021, Washington charges new employers a SUTA tax on wages up to $56,500 per year (an increase from the previous year's cutoff amount of $52,700). The rate for new companies varies, depending on industry rate class. The rate for established companies also varies, depending on the employer's rate class and experience rating.

To enter your company's unemployment insurance rate into Goldenseal payroll accounting software, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Tax Items from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a list of Tax Items. Locate the Washington SUTA tax in the list, and double-click on it. HINT: If you don't see Washington state SUTA in the list, you'll need to import your state's payroll info first.
  3. Click your mouse in the percentage field to the right of Calculation method. and type in the SUTA percentage rate for your business.
  4. If the cutoff amount has changed, enter it into the field to the right of First Adjustment.

Washington Marital Status

Enter one of the following value into the Marital Status popup field in each Employee account:

  • Single- single employee with one personal exemption
  • Married- married employee with two personal exemptions
  • Dual Income- married employee with one personal exemption
  • Head of House- employee claims Head of Family status
  • Other- not used

Washington Tax Contacts

Taxation website

Payroll Tax Office-- 800 647-7706
SUTA-- 206 753-5180
Worker's Comp-- 206 956-5799

Washington Dept of Revenue
PO Box 47450
Olympia WA 98504-7450

Official State Lawn Ornament

Starbucks coffee cup lid.


Seattle added an employee worker tax in 2007, but repealed it in 2010.

'We still list it as a Tax Item, but the rate is currently 0%. We'll keep the setup instructions below just in case the tax is restored, but right now you don't need to worry about this short-lived local tax.

To create a Tax Package for Seattle workers, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Tax Packages from the submenu.
  2. Click on one of the standard packages, then click Duplicate.
  3. Enter a descriptive name for the package (e.g. Seattle City Work).
  4. Go through the list of Tax Items, and turn on the Seattle tax item.
  5. Click OK.

After you have set up an additional Tax Package, apply them to your employees who usually work in the city:

  1. Choose Employees from the Accounts menu.
  2. Use the browser controls at upper left, to locate an employee.
  3. Click the Payroll Setup button.
  4. Enter the Tax Package that applies.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for each employee that needs local tax.

If do work both within and outside the city, you'll need multiple Wage Schedules, with and without the tax. To set that up, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, and choose Wage Schedules from the submenu.
  2. Click the New button, or select an existing schedule and click Duplicate.
  3. Turn off the Use Employee Tax Package button, and enter the package you want to use for this work.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 to create more schedules, with or without the Seattle tax.

Once you have set up Wage Schedules, you can enter them in your Labor Hours records, to determine whether that work gets the Seattle tax, or not.